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Member Since 04 Jun 2010
Offline Last Active Dec 04 2015 11:45 PM

Topics I've Started

Recentering Issue, Trimming Problem

17 October 2014 - 12:17 PM

For a few months now I've had an issue about centering when trimming.  I use a Giffin Grip and love it, but something has started going wrong somewhere and I can't figure out what it is.  My items come off the wheel (I use bats) centered and level.  When they're ready to trim, I put them on the GG and they're NEVER centered!  I've used a small level to test the level of the GG surface, so I don't think that's the problem.  I always use a needle tool to lightly mark the bottoms so I'll have a visual of how far in to make the trim.  When I put the needle tool on now, the bottom is up to half an inch off center!  It's as though they lean while drying, but I don't know why they would do that.  This problem is driving me crazy because I feel as though I'm losing almost all my work or just following it through and trying to compensate for the 'off-ness' in other ways, such as putting a mug handle on the leaning side in order to visually balance it.  I'd rather identify the problem and fix it, but no matter how many sleepless hours I log, I can't seem to come up with what's causing it.  When it first started, I thought the GG was not level on the wheel. 


I have not tried recentering for trimming by using clay lugs like I used to.  I was never much good at that, thus the reason for getting a GG.  That worked wonderfully for three years and now ... not.


I can't make large items, so most of my ware is shorter than seven inches.  Maybe some of my problem comes from unsteady hands, but I can't figure why the pieces seem nice and well-made enough until I get them to the trimming stage.  I've got too much invested in time and dollars just to quit, but I get so upset I don't throw for weeks at a time.  I realize that behavior just feeds the other issues, so whatever suggestions you have will be appreciated.






How Do I Glaze Fire Spoons And Ladles?

15 August 2014 - 11:33 PM

I made a honey dipper and a spoon, each for the first time, but I don't know how to glaze fire them.  I've seen pictures of stoneware spoons and ladles online, and the pictures don't show holes (from hanging on a jewelry rack, for instance), so how are they fired?  Is it simple and I'm just brain-tired?  I think I have "potter's block" anyway, if there is such a thing.  Haven't been able to work up much enthusiasm in almost a month.  Maybe knowing how to make some spoons would get me started again.



Garlic Plates

10 June 2014 - 09:58 AM

At a local event two women asked me if I had garlic plates.  I asked for a description.  I came home and looked them up, of course, and decided to try some.  I made four last night, but without seeing one for real, I won't make more.  Of course they wanted to see some at my next event in two weeks!  THAT won't happen, but I'll get a type perfected within the next couple of months and be ready for the autumn season. 


The idea is that the center of the plate is rough or has a texture such that a clove of garlic can be rubbed/grated/pulverized and then olive oil poured over it for dipping with bread hunks.  I'm not particularly good at making plates, so I'm considering this a good reason to get some practice. When I made the few last night, I made concentric ridges in the center.  They were too rough, so I damp-sponged them to soften the edges and when I did that, I smeared some of the clay down into the grooves.  After thinking about it for a bit, I decided that maybe the ridges or texture should be done at the time of trimming when the plate is in its leather stage and any little nubs of clay could be brushed out or allowed to dry and then flicked out. Some of the pictures I see online are of just unglazed areas for the grating and others are of almost fingernail sized waves that look pushed up in a circular design.  Those look as though they'd hurt fingers and make for coarser grating, but again, without seeing one in 3D I can't get much of an idea; only imagination.


So ... have you made garlic plates?  If you have, do you mind sharing how you make the grating part and how big you make the plates.  Are they well received at shows or in shops?  No one else in my region is making them that I know of, so maybe I have an opportunity here for something new! 

Onsite Bookkeeping Ideas?

08 June 2014 - 01:14 PM

Since I'm new to shows and festivals, I'm looking for suggestions that will help me to keep track of my sales at the event.  I keep a small receipt book with pens and cash for change in a fanny pack.  Then I have to drag a tub out from under the skirting of my table so I can get at wrapping materials and bags and then try to balance everything and write a receipt and smile and make nice.  Guess it's just second nature for some of you, but I haven't 'got' it yet, how to do all that with some degree of grace and efficiency.  I sometimes think I look like one of those country yard ornaments that's a piece of plywood cut out to look like an old woman bent over at the waist, working in the flowers, except that with me I'm searching through a bin, rummaging for all the stuff I need right then.  There isn't enough space on the table tops where the pottery is and there isn't enough floor space to take a dedicated small table to work from.  Ten by ten or 8 x 10 seems very inadequate, so I just need to get better equipped to deal with it.  Any advice you have will be happily considered.


My next event is 20-21 June, indoors, all crafters, a few potters, and I'd like to seem a bit more professional.

Outdoor Fairs And Weather

06 June 2014 - 03:33 PM

I'm enjoying a stormy day reading through the C.A.D. forums.  I'm registered for a one-day festival tomorrow in a little village near my home.  Since it's less than 15 miles, it's not a huge deal although all the usual packing, unpacking, repacking, loading, unloading, etc., is the same.  North Central Arkansas is in a rainy spell right now and there have been brief thunder and lightning storms for two days off and on and looks like much the same for tomorrow (and much of next week).  There are a lot of trees in the beautiful little park and it's a lovely place when it's dry and not overly windy.  I did that show year before last and made a whopping $57.  It's almost 3:30 p.m. and I've just decided I'm not going.  Can't see much upside for myself nor my husband who will be doing most of the grunt work this year.


With that bit of background, I'd like to know how you experienced folks handle little events and weather?  Since I've already made my decision, your input probably won't change my mind, but I'm just curious.  The spaces at the country festivals only cost $10, so it's not much of a loss.  I contacted the coordinator earlier today and I'm told it's a go in spite of the weather.  The rain won't bother the old car show and some of the vendors, but neither of my neighbors (a face painter and an author's group) are going.


Anything to share?